Illegal Things You Never Knew Used To Be Legal

By Tom Pearson 7 months ago

Drink Driving

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Nowadays, we know how dangerous it is to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking. Back in the day, the accident rate was less, not because drivers were better, but because there was less on the road to hit! Making drink driving illegal has saved countless lives.

Smoking On Planes

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When you look back with a little bit of retrospect, allowing people to smoke when on a plane was a mental decision. A fire on a plane equals an aircraft crash waiting to happen, but there actually used to be a dedicated smoking area of most commercial airliners.

Drugs

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Even being caught carrying a small amount of drugs can land you a lengthy prison sentence now, but in the 1920's and 30's you could actually visit your neighborhood pharmacy and buy drugs off the shelf. Drugs like heroin and crystal meth were readily available.

Lobotomies

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A lobotomy involves removing a part of a persons brain in order to make them more docile and easier to control. The procedure is very dangerous and often results in death, but doctors in the early 1900's were happy to perform this procedure for the right price.

Domestic Violence

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If you can believe it, domestic violence between husband and wives especially used to be extremely common. Thankfully, their are now laws which protect people from spousal abuse, but it used to be seen as so common that you were strange if you didn't assault your partner.

Not Wearing A Seat Belt

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Car manufacturers were never legally required to put seat belts in their vehicles, and many actually didn't as they thought it made their cars seem unsafe. Volvo were the first company to offer seat belts as standard, and they are world renowned for their safety.

Child Labor

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As soon as you were old enough to look after yourself in the 1900's, you were forced to go to work. For many families, money was super tight, so the income from the work the children were doing was vital to keeping the family warm, clothed and well fed.

Murder

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So, the act of murder has never really been 100% legal, but history shows that as little as 50 years ago, the laws on taking someones life were a lot more relaxed than they are now. Many people were let off from a murder charge, simply because they were drunk!

Cocaine

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Alongside many other drugs, cocaine could be easily bought from your local pharmacy or grocery store. It was actually one of the main ingredients in Coca Cola! Cocaine was used as a sort of paracetamol, to treat minor aches and pains like headaches and migraines.

Child Abuse

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Hitting your children has always been frowned upon, but was actually still acceptable for most people until the 1980's or even the 90's! Children who get regularly abused as much more well supported nowadays and finding help is even easier thanks to the internet.

Smoking In Restaurants

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If you grew up in the 2000's, you might actually remember a waiter asking you or your parents if you wanted to sit in the smoking or non smoking side of a restaurant. In reality, it made no difference what side you sat on, as the smoke filled the place anyway!

Mailing Children

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When slavery and child labor was more commonplace, you could actually send children to work for people via the US postal service. Mailing children is obviously unethical and very dangerous for the children. The journeys were long and children were often starving and injured.

Having Slaves

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It used to be common for wealthy families to buy slaves from poorer countries to come and work for them as live in staff. Slaves were commonly captured by invaders from Britain and American, and shipped from their native homes of Australia and Africa.

Walking A Tiger

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You may have heard of the heavyweight boxer, Mike Tyson. Famous for his instantly recognizable face tattoo and hefty drug addiction, Mike also used to walk a tiger around his neighborhood. Not only is this very dangerous, it was insanely 100% legal to do!

Public Executions

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Until 1939, public deaths including cutting of people's heads with a guillotine was completely legal and common in France. People would flock from their homes to witness an execution and it was actually known as a common form of entertainment for decades.

Underage Marriage

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In some countries, underage marriage is still occurring as children are sold off to rich buyers to help their family make a bit of money. This is of course illegal, but many police forces can be bribed to turn a blind eye to everything that is going on.

Open Immigration

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You may have heard politicians seemingly always talking about immigration, and about keeping people out of certain countries. In the EU, free immigration is still quite common, but a lot of other countries have a strict border and endless mounts of paperwork.

Duels

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If you enjoy watching historical films, you might have seen the dashing star challenge his rival to a duel! Duel's used to be common and were used to solve arguments and disagreements. Of course they are now illegal, due to so many people getting stabbed.

Forcing People Into Hospital

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Mental health never really existed until recently. Of course mental health issues were still happening, but people never knew what it was. If you suffered from any mental illnesses, you were branded mad and forced to live in a horrible mental hospital.

Owning A Pet Monkey

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Exotic animals are left in the wild for a reason, because caring for them is difficult and you need specialist knowledge. In the 1990's it was common for celebrities to try and out-do one another by buying the most exotic pets they could find. Thankfully this is no longer common.

Arsenic In Food

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Arsenic is one of the most poisonous toxins in the world, but people actually used to include it as an ingredient in many foods. It was used as a preservative, but is now thankfully outlawed as it is highly toxic to both humans, animals and all plant life.

Baby Walkers

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Depending on your age, you might have actually grown up in a baby walker or used one when your children were born. They were banned in the 1980's as many babies were breaking their legs or sadly suffocating due to getting trapped in the suspension ropes.

Hit By Your Teachers

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Until the 1990's corporal punishment in school was a daily occurrence. Even after it was banned, many teachers continued to hit children with a wooden cane. Children were also forced to stand in stress positions and were commonly mentally abused by teachers.

Marrying Your Cousin

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If you marry someone directly in your family, you narrow your gene pool and make illness and genetic mutations more likely to happen. This is extremely dangerous for your children, and the effects can last generations. It is no wonder that this was outlawed.

Home Burials

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If someone in your friends circle or family sadly passes away, their are a number of procedures you need to go through to ensure they are officially marked deceased and buried properly. Families used to save a bit of money by burying people at home, but this was banned due to disease spreading.

Underage Drinking

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Technically, if their is no minimum drinking age, then you can't drink underage. Still, many children were drinking from a young age, far younger than we would deem acceptable by today's standard. Children in France even used to be served wine with lunch!

Removing A Mattress Tag

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Strangely, the only person who is allowed to remove the tag from a mattress is the person who purchased it. This is due to fire regulations, which are always improving. Mattress sellers used to remove the tags and lie about how safe the mattresses actually were!

Driving Naked

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Even nowaday's, you can actually drive your car naked. The space is private, so you can really wear what you want. You may get in to trouble if someone sees you through the car window or if you walk to or from your car wearing no clothing whatsoever!

Sleeping In Your Car

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Sleeping in a car or van is something that a lot of us have actually done, and the sleeping part is not actually illegal. You can get in to trouble if you sleep in your car and you are parked on land which is private. The land owner then has the right to call the police.

Secret Recordings

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As recently as 2005, newspapers were using secret recording and spying techniques to dig up dirt of celebrities in the spot light. Now all journalists must tell any interviewees that they are being recorded, either via a camera or using a small voice recorder.